Spring Boot vs. Spring MVC: Choosing the Right Framework

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Tracy-GardnerTracy Gardner Global Chief Marketing Officer
LinkedIn|20 Mar 2024

Java is one of the world's most popular programming languages, used by 30.55% of developers worldwide. It is no wonder that this technology comes with several frameworks to contribute to the platform. 

most popular programming languages

Spring is one of the most popular Java Frameworks when it comes to creating robust web applications. Spring Boot and Spring MVC are two most significant modules of Spring Framework. They are powerful tools, each with its pros, cons, features, and use cases. It could be challenging to find the right frameworks for robust Java development.  

If you want to choose the right frameworks between Spring Boot and Spring MVC, read this blog. 

What is Spring MVC? 

Spring MVC (Model-View-Controller) is a Spring Framework module for creating robust and flexible web apps. It comes with basic features of the core Spring framework including Dependency Injection and Inversion of Control.  

The MVC pattern differentiates software's different factors, such as input logic, business logic, and UI logic, while providing a loose coupling between them.  

How Does Spring MVC Work? 

Spring MVC works by routing incoming HTTP requests to appropriate controllers, which handle the requests and prepare a response. Controllers interact with services and repositories to process data and invoke appropriate views to generate the response sent back to the client. 

Spring MVC Features

Spring MVC Features

MVC Architecture 

Spring MVC follows the Model-View-Controller architectural pattern. It separates software into three interconnected elements: 

  • Model (Data and business logic) 
  • View (Presentation layer) 
  • Controller (Request handling and application flow) 

DispatcherServlet 

As a main component of Spring MVC, DispatcherServlet is responsible for stopping and routing incoming HTTP requests to the proper controller based on URL mappings.  

Flexible URL Mapping 

It allows programmers to define URL mappings flexibly, making it easy to route requests to specific controllers and techniques.  

Data Binding 

Thanks to powerful data binding capabilities, Spring MVC allows automatic conversion between HTTP request parameters and Java objects, simplifying form handling and validation.  

View Resolution 

Spring MVC supports several view technologies, such as JavaServer Pages (JSP), Thymeleaf, and FreeMarker. It enables developers to select the view technology that best suits their requirements.  

RESTful Web Services 

Spring MVC is mainly used for traditional web app development. But, it is also useful for building RESTful web services by leveraging its capabilities for request handling and data binding. 

Spring MVC: Pros & Cons 

Pros 

Cons 

Robust Architecture 

Steep Learning Curve 

Flexible 

Overhead 

Extensive Ecosystem 

 

Customization 

 

What is Spring Boot? 

Spring Boot is an alternative to Spring MVC that offers preconfigured setup for rapid app development. It allows programmers to focus on growth instead of the complexities of configuration.  

Spring Boot software can operate independently without any need for an external web server. 

How Does Spring Boot Work? 

Spring Boot provides auto-configuration, integrated servers, and opinionated defaults to simplify Spring app development services. This framework automatically configures common elements as per classpath and dependencies, minimizing manual setup. Java developers must focus on writing application logic rather than configuring infrastructure.  

Spring Boot Features

Spring Boot Features

Opinionated Defaults 

Spring Boot supports default configurations and settings for several aspects of software development. This opinionated method minimizes the need for extensive manual configuration, allowing programmers to get started quickly.  

Embedded Servers 

Spring Boot reduces the need for manual server setup and configuration thanks to its integrated servlet containers like Tomcat, Jetty, and Undertow.  

Standalone Applications 

Spring Boot applications can be operated as standalone JAR files. They come with embedded servers, making deployment easy. 

Microservices and Cloud-Native Support 

Spring Boot is ideal for microservices and cloud-native app development. This framework provides features like service discovery, load balancing, and externalized configuration for microservices architectures. 

Spring Boot: Pros & Cons 

Pros 

Cons 

Rapid development 

Complexity 

Large ecosystem 

Limited flexibility 

Embedded servers 

 

Convention over configuration 

 

Spring MVC Vs. Spring Boot: Which One Is a Better Framework

Spring MVC Vs. Spring Boot

Spring MVC Vs. Spring Boot: Configuration and Setup 

When it comes to easy setup and configuration, Spring Boot wins the game. It provides a rapid app development platform without any configuration, making it well-suited for small to medium-sized projects and microservices.  

With the Spring Boot framework, Java developers can build apps quickly and efficiently by writing code that implements business logic.  

On the other hand, Spring MVC needs manual setup and configuration. Thanks to its great customization and flexibility, this framework is more suitable for complex and large-scale enterprise projects.  

Spring MVC Vs. Spring Boot: Dependency Management 

Spring Boot uses a starter POM system for automatic dependency management. On the other hand, Spring MVC needs manual management of dependencies, which can lead to version conflicts if not handled correctly.  

In terms of dependency management, Spring Boot wins again. With its starter dependencies features, it minimizes the risk of version conflicts.

spring-boot-vs-spring-mvc-cta

Spring MVC Vs. Spring Boot: Application Monitoring 

Spring Boot includes actuators that provide application insights and health metrics. It's ideal for production-grade applications.  

Spring MVC doesn't come with an application monitoring feature. So, developers will need to configure a separate tool for application monitoring. 

Spring MVC Vs. Spring Boot: Testing Support 

Thanks to its MockMvc framework, Spring MVC provides extensive support for software testing services. Developers can simulate requests and responses without beginning a servlet container. They can perform different types of testing, such as unit, integration, and end-to-end, for your MVC controllers.  

Spring Boot increases testing support that allows you to bootstrap the entire application context for testing. It simplifies integration testing by providing auto-configuration and sensible defaults. 

Spring MVC Vs. Spring Boot: Security 

Spring Security can be integrated with Spring MVC to handle authentication, authorization, and other security concerns. You need to configure security features manually, such as setting up authentication providers, defining access rules, etc. 

Spring Boot simplifies security configuration by providing auto-configuration for common security scenarios. It offers starters like spring-boot-starter-security, which automatically secures your application with sensible defaults. You can customize security settings using properties or Java configurations. 

Spring MVC Vs. Spring Boot: Scalability 

Spring MVC applications can be scaled horizontally by deploying multiple instances behind a load balancer. However, scaling might require manual configuration and management of resources, such as connection pools, caching, etc. 

Spring Boot simplifies scalability by embedding an application server (e.g., Tomcat, Jetty) and providing production-ready features out of the box. It includes metrics, health checks, externalized configuration, and more, which are essential for managing and monitoring large-scale deployments. Spring Boot applications can also be easily containerized using Docker for deployment in cloud environments. 

Spring MVC Vs. Spring Boot: When to Use? 

When to Use Spring MVC? 

  • Building web applications in Java 
  • Needing a robust, mature framework with a wide community 
  • Requiring flexibility to integrate with other Spring modules 
  • Utilizing a full-stack framework with support for diverse web application requirements 

When to Use Spring Boot? 

  • Rapidly prototyping or developing Spring-based applications 
  • Preferring convention over configuration for quick setup 
  • Building microservices or standalone applications 
  • Needing embedded server deployment for easier distribution 

Spring MVC Vs. Spring Boot: Key Differences! 

Parameters 

Spring MVC 

Spring Boot 

Use 

Idea for web app development 

Idea for Spring-powered framework development 

Configurations 

Manual configuration is required 

Manual configuration not required 

Deployment Descriptor 

Required 

Not Required 

Timeline 

Take More Development Time 

Reduced Development Time 

Layers & Components 

There are four types of presentation layers: Presentation layer, Business layer, Persistence layer, and the Database layer. 

Four components in MVC such as Model, View, Controller, Front Controller, or DispatcherServlet Class. 

Dependency Management 

Developers need to manage project dependencies explicitly. 

Includes embedded servlet containers, eliminating manual server configuration. 

In summary, both Spring MVC and Spring Boot offer robust testing support, security features, and scalability options. However, Spring Boot provides more conveniences and opinionated defaults out of the box. So, it's the preferred choice for rapid web application development and deployment, especially in microservices architectures. 

If you are looking for the best Spring Boot developers quickly for your project, contact VLink today! 

spring-boot-vs-spring-mvc-cta1

Hire the top 3% of Spring Boot Developers within 48 Hours from VLink!

At VLink, we have a large network of top Spring Boot developers. They are skilled in a diverse range of additional frameworks and tools—our programmer's expertise in building dynamic web applications using Sring Boot, Spring Data JPA, and Spring Security. With us, you can hire the best developers for your business needs, and are committed to delivering outstanding results.

For more questions, you can contact us!

FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Spring MVC and Hibernate?

Spring MVC is a web framework for building Java web applications, focusing on handling web requests and responses. Hibernate is an ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) framework that simplifies database interactions by mapping Java objects to database tables.

What are the different types of frameworks for mobile and web apps?

Different types of frameworks for mobile and web apps include front-end frameworks like React, Angular, and Vue.js for web apps, and mobile frameworks like Flutter, React Native, and Xamarin for mobile apps. 

Can Spring Boot Replace Spring?

Spring Boot is built on top of the Spring framework, providing streamlined configuration and rapid application development. While Spring Boot simplifies setup and reduces boilerplate code, it complements rather than replaces Spring, enhancing productivity and facilitating microservices architecture. 

What are the similarities between Spring MVC and Spring Boot?

Spring MVC and Spring Boot are both part of the Spring framework ecosystem. They both leverage inversion of control (IoC) and dependency injection (DI) principles. Also, both frameworks facilitate Java web applications development and support building RESTful APIs. 

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